The Difference Between HID and LED Light Bars

The Difference Between HID and LED Light Bars

If you're looking at light bars for your motorcycle, truck, off-road vehicle or something else entirely, then you have a big decision to make. You have to choose between HID lights or an LED light bar. So how are you supposed to choose? Here is a brief look at the differences between the two types of lights to help you decide.

The Breakdown

Efficiency: HIDs put off more heat than LEDS, which makes LEDs the more efficient bulb of the two. Due to the low current of electricity, you will experience brighter lights without needing to upgrade your alternator. It also leaves more electrical power open for other upgrades and accessories.

Durability: LED lights can last for around 50,000 hours, which equates to six years of continuous usage. This is about 10x the length of time that HID lights are known to last. In addition, HIDs require a ballast, whereas LEDs do not, which makes them more durable in terms of wear and tear. LED bulbs are made with plastic, which makes them more resilient to the vibration and shock experienced when riding off-road.

Ease of Installation: Because an HID light bar will require a ballast, it may be harder to install. This is particularly true if you aren’t able to wire the HID light system directly into your vehicle’s power source. With an LED light bar, the wiring installation is far easier and you don’t need a ballast.

LED Lights can last for around 50,000 hours, which is about six years.

Size and Weight: If you’re looking at HID and LED lights with the same exact light output, you will find that the LED lights are lighter weight and smaller in size. In fact, when compared to LEDs, HID lights can often be more than 5x larger and at least double the weight.

Cost: Overall, you can expect to pay more upfront for LED lights. However, if you are looking at cost in terms of a long-term investment, then LED lights are going to be cheaper simply because they are more durable, efficient and have fewer pieces that can fail. LED lights are becoming more affordable and the prices are expected to continue to dip as time goes by.

The Verdict

Ultimately, it boils down to your preference or your individual circumstances. Both types of lights are great. If you don’t go off-roading much, then the lighter weight and extra durability that you get with the LED lights might not be too important to you, which means you can save money and get a quality HID light bar for a fraction of the cost of an LED light bar. However, if you take to the back roads or go off the road often, then you’ll be better off spending the extra money on LED lights.

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If you are looking for a street legal addition to your vehicle, then HID lights are going to be the option you’ll need to choose since they are DOT approved. Plus, HID lights tend to have a more tunable and wide beam pattern when compared to LED lights.

Contact Us for Help

If you would like to learn more about the difference between HID and LED lights, give us a call here at Soundz Good Stereo. We're happy to help. Also, if you're interested in new wheels or a full sound system for your ride, we offer no credit check financing or no interest for 18 months for those with excellent credit — all for $40 RIGHT NOW!